Capitalism, with its attendant market-based economy, is the best system
yet devised for accumulating wealth. Its primary shortcoming is the lousy
job it does of distributing wealth. It is both necessary and desirable for
people in a prosperous country to utilize the government to rectify the
unjust distribution. This should be done in a manner which minimizes the
adverse effects on the market. Our current welfare system does not meet
this criterion. A guaranteed adequate income would.
Robert Heilbroner, 21st Century Capitalism, pp. 95-96.
Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward: 2000-1887, p. 282.
Heilbroner, 21st Century Capitalism, pp. 26-29.
"Can Private Sector Outdo Government?" Cedar Rapids [Iowa] Gazette, December 1, 1986, p. 2A.
Heilbroner, 21st Century Capitalism, p. 74.
In practice, however, some face considerably more impediments than
others. I suggested in Chapter 2 that the story of Horatio Alger (the poor boy
who strikes it rich) is of such enduring interest because it represents not the
norm but the rare exception. Perhaps the fairest opportunity for becoming rich
today is the lottery. The probability of success, although slim, may be as high as
that of working one's way from poverty to wealth, and one's chances are not a
function of natural endowments. As a society, however, we prefer that people try
to get rich the old-fashioned way because it encourages the development of
talent and ability.
Again the caution--we really can't prove they grow faster than other
Heilbroner issues a cautionary note in this regard: "It is possible--or
better perhaps, it is not impossible--that the coming decades will witness a
series of massive technological stimuli of the kind that have propelled us
forward with irregular regularity over the past two centuries. . . . Alas, the same
can be said for a drearier possibility, namely that the future will be dominated by
periods of stagnation and decline." Heilbroner, 21st Century Capitalism, p. 62.
It is not likely, however, that we can continue to sustain the level of
growth we have seen in western countries in recent centuries. I side with those
who believe resource limitations will eventually take their toll. The mystical
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: ...And Economic Justice for All:Welfare Reform for the 21st Century.
Contributors: Michael L. Murray - Author.
Publisher: M.E. Sharpe.
Place of publication: Armonk, NY.
Publication year: 1997.
Page number: 100.
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